To clean or not to clean?


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Hi everyone
Im not sure what to do about my pond. I left the filter running all winter. Everything went well. Temp here just got into the 50 degree range yesterday and today. Fish all survived and now are becoming a little active. The pond developed a blanket of green string algae back in November that continued to grow slowly all winter. Its very fragile stuff that breaks apart and floats around if I disturb it. Im getting offers to have my pond pressure washed and cleaned. Im not sure what to do. Im thinking it would be a good idea to get this out of the pond before the water warms up. I don't know if this algae will die off and become a problem or if the fish will eat it as the water warms. Should I leave everything alone? I tend to think losing all of the water for new water and moving the fish would cause a lot of stress. Pond is a Aquascape pond with large rocks and gravel bottom. 3000 or so gallons. Only good thing IMO of draing it to clean would be I could find out for sure the amount of gallons I have when I fill it. These two pictures are from the same area. First was from November second from February. What do you guys think? Clean or not. No leaves or muck at bottom.
Thanks
 

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addy1

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Do not pressure wash, drain and clean. You will be starting over with the new pond syndrome.

I have not drained or cleaned mine in 10 years without any issues.
 
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I would not drain and pressure wash the pond, especially if there are no leaves or muck at the bottom. I'd remove what ever debris is there, leaves etc with a net. Your fish may eat the string algae as they become more active...in the mean time it helps keep your ammonia values in check. If I ever get too much string algae I just pull it out with my hands.
 

j.w

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Nope I would not do the drain and clean. Just net out gunk on bottom and use your filter to clean up stuff in water floating around. You can use a clean toilet brush on a pole to get out the string algae. You want to keep your pond water w/all it's good bacteria in it. If you drain and clean your fish may die from shock.
 
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I agree with everyone else also. I have a gorgeous crop of green algae right now and the fish are feasting. In my pond, sunlight and warmth are waking everything up. The fish are cruising around and eating and pooping. My pond plants haven't grown enough yet to start taking up those nutrients in the water, so the algae is doing that for me. It's all a part of the pond coming into balance for the season. Resist the urge to feed the fish, have patience, and nature will take care of things for you!
 
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Ok then. Its unanimous. lol. That was what I was thinking also. I didn't want to lose the water to new water. I'm just concerned that this algae is more than the fish can consume and when it starts to die off when the plants start to grow it could cause a problem. Just trying to be proactive and avoid problems. Thanks again for the advice. Has anyone used a pond vacuum that works? I bought a Pondovac 5 in the fall to suck up any debris before the winter and it would not suck up anything in a foot of water. I'll start a new thread.
 
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If you have way too much algae, it can be fun to swirl it around on a (clean) toilet brush, saved for that specific purpose. It's like twirling spaghetti on a fork. My fish think it is the best thing ever, since it stirs up lots of muck. It's a nice way to reduce the amount of algae without going to extremes.
 
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Has anyone used a pond vacuum that works? I bought a Pondovac 5 in the fall to suck up any debris before the winter and it would not suck up anything in a foot of water. I'll start a new thread.
@RobAmy has a pond vacuum ( not sure which model ) and has good results, perhaps he'll weigh in on your expereince.
 
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Hi everyone
Im not sure what to do about my pond. I left the filter running all winter. Everything went well. Temp here just got into the 50 degree range yesterday and today. Fish all survived and now are becoming a little active. The pond developed a blanket of green string algae back in November that continued to grow slowly all winter. Its very fragile stuff that breaks apart and floats around if I disturb it. Im getting offers to have my pond pressure washed and cleaned. Im not sure what to do. Im thinking it would be a good idea to get this out of the pond before the water warms up. I don't know if this algae will die off and become a problem or if the fish will eat it as the water warms. Should I leave everything alone? I tend to think losing all of the water for new water and moving the fish would cause a lot of stress. Pond is a Aquascape pond with large rocks and gravel bottom. 3000 or so gallons. Only good thing IMO of draing it to clean would be I could find out for sure the amount of gallons I have when I fill it. These two pictures are from the same area. First was from November second from February. What do you guys think? Clean or not. No leaves or muck at bottom.
Thanks
Unfortunately
 
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Do not clean it! You'll be starting all over with ammonia and nitrite you will destroy all of the bacteria by doing that. String algae is actually very good it will keep your water from going pee green which is a more single-cell algae that will cause it to look like green foam so that's good because string algae is actually beneficial it's helping to clean the water right now and throughout the winter + it feed your fish throughout the winter and early spring. When you have excess that seems to be too much just take a clean toilet bowl cleaner cheap one with nothing on it tape it on the end of a broom handle with duct tape take it in and spin it will take all of the green at string algae right off without any problem and and when your plants start getting going they will suck up all the nutrients and the string algae will slowly disappear until fall when it is needed for the fish to survive through the winter. Something else that I use is I have little places along the rocks of my pond edges that I can place that barley that comes in the mesh bags barley when it's breaking down produces enzymes that cause the string algae to not be able to grow and reproduce. Much better to have this kind of algae then pea green soup.
 
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I drop my water level by about half every spring. It gets rid of the nasty dirty water and replenishes it with healthy oxygenated water. (I know bad water will kill fish because I've seen it happen enough in a goldfish bowl.) I don't clean the walls because I don't want to see a nice clean new looking liner. As far as the bacteria goes who knows? Supposedly it doesn't grow in the cold so that tells me it has to start fresh every year. There is a lot of information on the internet that gets repeated but unless I have personal knowledge I can't say one way or the other. I'm the first to admit I'm not a marine biologist or chemist.
 

addy1

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Mine gets refreshed every time it rains, I feed gutter water into it. Good rain = good water turn over.
 
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I drop my water level by about half every spring. It gets rid of the nasty dirty water and replenishes it with healthy oxygenated water. (I know bad water will kill fish because I've seen it happen enough in a goldfish bowl.) I don't clean the walls because I don't want to see a nice clean new looking liner. As far as the bacteria goes who knows? Supposedly it doesn't grow in the cold so that tells me it has to start fresh every year. There is a lot of information on the internet that gets repeated but unless I have personal knowledge I can't say one way or the other. I'm the first to admit I'm not a marine biologist or chemist.
I tend to do this as well. It doesn’t matter how much fall cleaning I do, or how many nets I put over the pond, by late winter my pond will be filled with massive amount of leaves leaving the water brown and nasty. Not sure if it’s due to living on top of a hill where all winter winds are whipping everything around but I will empty half if not more just so I can scoop out the mountain of leaves. Then refill using my well water. Crystal clear water and the fish seem happy so....
 

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